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Stanley Cup Final

Feaster feels Flames' answers will come from within

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 5:14 PM / 2012 Trade Deadline

By Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The answer is in the Calgary Flames' dressing room.

That's the message sent by general manager Jay Feaster, whose inactivity at Monday's trade deadline spoke volumes about his belief in the club's ability to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years.

"As we approach here the last 21 games, we like this group, we believe the answers are still in that room," Feaster said. "We feel we've had a number of productive conversations with quite a few of our guys over the last two, three days. We're ready to get going here and chase this playoff spot."

In other words, selling was not in Feaster's vocabulary Monday with the Flames just three points behind the Dallas Stars for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"As we approach here the last 21 games, we like this group, we believe the answers are still in that room. We feel we've had a number of productive conversations with quite a few of our guys over the last two, three days. We're ready to get going here and chase this playoff spot." -- Flames GM Jay Feaster

"We made the decision that we weren't going to be sellers, that we weren't going to bust this thing up," Feaster said. "As it relates to our impending UFAs, we were not going to be selling. Where people would call and say, 'Here's what we'd do for this particular player,' we'd evaluate it and say based on where we are right now and what this player contributes, are we prepared not to have that player in our lineup for the balance of our season compared to what the asset was that was offered?"

In the end, the price for the Flames just wasn't right.

"If people were throwing first-round picks at us, we would have been having different conversations," Feaster said.

Being unable to make a deal didn't mean the Flames weren't shopping, either.

"We were in on a number of things today that if the price had been right, if it had been something we were prepared to give up to get a player to add to the group, we would've," Feaster said. "At the end of the day, we felt the prices that we had to do on some of the deals we were in on that we were not prepared to do that."

Feaster's playoff preparation came well in advance of Monday's deadline. The Calgary GM added both Michael Cammalleri and Blair Jones to the Flames in January while Blake Comeau was plucked off waivers from the New York Islanders in late November.

"I appreciate that this is a bigger day than Christmas," Feaster said. "I'd like to think the fans were pretty happy on Jan. 6 when we picked up Blair Jones. On Jan. 12, we picked up what I think is a glue guy here in terms of Mike Cammalleri. This day, it's so over-hyped that you lose track of the fact we acquired Comeau off waivers back in November. We have been doing things."

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Feaster's decision to remain idle was swayed by the fact the Flames are expecting to get injured members of their cavalry back shortly. Calgary currently has several forwards on the injured reserve nearing return as well as defenseman Chris Butler.

"When we say we need a top-nine forward and we have the ability to get a guy like David Moss coming back off IR, that's as good of a top-nine forward as we can think we're going to get in the market today and we didn't have to give up an asset to do it," Feaster said.

No big splash doesn't make Monday "dud-line day" in Calgary. Feaster suggested several negotiations were left open and will be revisited after the conclusion of this season.

"There were some conversations where both sides said, 'You know what, that's not something we would look at right now as it relates to the trade deadline, but if you're serious, we're serious, we've got to have those conversations as we get closer to the draft,'" Feaster said. "You do some groundwork today as well."

The only transaction completed on the day was the re-signing gritty forward Tim Jackman to a two-year deal worth $612,500 per season. In the end, Jackman -- potential trade bait -- was worth more to the Flames.

"Candidly, we didn't feel that anyone offered us something that was of a greater value to us -- whether it's now or in the future -- compared to his value to us down the stretch," Feaster said. "Getting him signed, we're happy about that. We think it's a good deal for both of us and he's an important guy in that room and a very popular teammate."

After the smoke settled, all went according to plan for Feaster & Co.

"If it's the idea that this is fantasy hockey and boy, we wanted to see all these wheels and deals and moves, I guess then you can be disappointed, but we're not disappointed from the standpoint that we worked our plan today," he said.

Now it's up to the players in the dressing room to execute theirs.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery